Batman Adventures #36
So much has happened in the comic book industry since the last time I submitted a column several years ago, but throughout I continued to collect (and profit from) lower print run finales to comic series.
The book I’m highlighting this time is Batman Adventures #36, published October 1995. In this series finale, written by Ty Templeton and illustrated by Mike Parobeck, Batman and Robin hunt down Hugo Strange to restore Batman’s memory. The issue also has the cover image of Batman Adventures #12 on the cover for you Harley completists!
According to Comichron, there were 33,500 copies sold of this issue, which was actually a slight increase over the numbers for the previous issue. Typically, the final issue of a series is the lowest printed of the run, since most of the time a series is cancelled for declining sales. This time, however, the series was not scrapped for sales. Rather, when the animated series was rebranded as The Adventures of Batman and Robin, the comic series was also relaunched. (Sales seem to slightly increase as the series progressed. For example: Batman Adventures #17 sold 28,300 copies.)
The collectability of this issue does not come from the sales numbers. There are copies out there, high grade copies. There are currently 36 copies of varying conditions on eBay. A standard edition 9.8 sold for best offer Dec. 15 for $88, while raw copies sell below $20. MYCOMICSHOP has the only 9.8 listed for $130 BIN. After grading costs, there’s still some room to profit on this book for the highest graded copies. However, finding 9.8s is hindered by the fact that this book was published for kids, who were probably not collectors. With 25 copies of the book in the CGC census, there are 20 9.8s.
The real magic of this book comes from the fact that there is a DCU UPC logo variant of this book and they are very hard to find. Since the last time The Last to Know was published, several amazing articles were published on CBSI alerting collectors to the rarity of DCU UPC variants. Rarely will buyers find one, no less a graded 9.8. To my knowledge there aren’t any. However, since CGC does not indicate DCU logos on their labels, it’s possible that one does exist. The only recorded sale I could locate was an auction for a raw F/VF copy, which sold for $56 Nov. 11 with 5 bids.
If you find one, you potentially have the opportunity for a big score since it appeals to several different collectors: Batman, DCU UPC logo variants, and of course, last issues.